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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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'costs of production.' "* It is also an industry in which it is difficult to measure increases in productivity. In modern industry, by contrast, salaries are a smaller proportion of total cost, and rising productivity permits steady increases in wages and salaries without corresponding increases in the real cost of production. Hence, although there is a strong upward pressure on teacher salaries to keep them more or less competitive with private industry, they tend to lag behind salaries in comparable occupations.
There are, in summary, three major reasons why teacher salary costs are likely to spiral in the developing countries. First, the sharp increase in pupil numbers that is an objective of educational planning in most countries spells more teachers. Second, the emphasis on secondary and higher education means that much of the expansion must be in the form of better educated, much more expensive teachers. Third, there will be an inexorable upward pressure on teacher salaries caused by salary increases for persons of comparable qualifications in other industries with rising productivity. Additionally, if salaries are more strongly linked to qualifications than to length of service, a country that succeeds in upgrading the qualification level of its primary or secondary school teaching force will face substantial increases in costs, even without any increase in the number of teachers.^ The combination of all these factors spells dramatic increases in costs.
There are many other reasons why costs per student are certain to rise if the school system is to be expanded and improved. One is that the non-teacher salary component of recurrent costs—blackboards, chalk, classroom aids, and so forth—is at present often held to a minimum by restricting these supplies to the point where efficient teaching methods are jeopardized. Another is that elimination of double shifts in school buildings (a common aim, though not necessarily a wise one) would greatly increase the required building program. One further costly item required in the ideal school system in a developing country would be a system of government scholarships to enable gifted children from poor families to continue their education at the secondary and tertiary level. If it is true that ability is distributed roughly equally in all socioeconomic groups, an enormous waste of talent results from the typical situation in the developing countries, in which only children from well-to-do families have much chance of reaching the universities.
*An unweighted average for all countries with available data shows that in 1965 teacher salaries constituted 71 percent of total recurrent costs in African countries, 73 percent in Asian countries, and 72 percent in Latin American countries. Even when capital costs are included, teacher salaries constituted more than 60 percent of the total expenditures on education in all three continents (12, p. 35).
i Since a rise in the level of qualifications of the teacher force will normally come about through an influx of younger, better qualified recruits, the effect on average teacher salaries will depend on the relative weight given to length of tenure and qualifications in the salary structure. In developing countries level of qualifications is normally given far more weight.and